Ten From the Tomb 9/21/18: Today’s winners, tomorrow’s blinking toads.

TEN FROM THE TOMB is a weekly feature in the form of a themed list devoted to grouping together albums of similar interest that I missed throughout the year. These albums were overlooked for review for any number of reasons with the most common reason being constraints of time. I have a policy of covering 99% of everything I receive in some form, be it mini-review or full-feature, so don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way.

Here I present a ten album sampler of some stuff I sought out/purchased on my own and/or releases not sent through promotion that I bought yet somehow still overlooked for review this year. Consider it a loosely themed soundtrack to a weekend spent digging through a bin of potential joy and/or regret. Most of these albums made it here to Ten From the Tomb because I put priority on releases I receive from PR (which typically align with my tastes, interest anyhow) and didn’t take time for a long-form review… or because I really didn’t have more than a paragraph or two’s worth of insight beyond banal description. If you don’t like having a small window into the glut of slightly random stuff I buy to support artists, relax! This’ll be back every seven days with 10 more albums from different styles, genres, themes, etc.

Hey! Don’t dive in thinking this will all be second tier crap that I regret buying. But, this will definitely be cumulative in the sense that this is everything from 2018 that I bought but didn’t review yet. I post a poll on Patreon every two weeks so that Patrons can pick between genre/concepts as I dig through hundreds of not-yet-reviewed releases. This isn’t always a collection of dregs and my own ignorant floundering but rather a selection meant to give a glimpse at what catches my eye when nobody is looking. Keep in mind this isn’t at all cumulative in representing my taste. Think my opinions are trash and that I suck? Want to totally tell me off, bro? Click away and let’s all live more sensible lives full of meaningful interactions. I’m too old and bored with people to care.


a0749435717_10

Artist Black Tusk
Title [Type/Year] T.C.B.T. [Full-length/2018]
Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

We’re going in alphabetical order this time and starting with what should surprise folks as one of my most listened-to albums of the year. Black Tusk began as an average sludge metal band that’d turn out to have a knack for stoner metal grooves and some pretty solid hardcore punk influences informing their songwriting. I didn’t really care about all that until this album and it felt almost kinda shitty to tout how much I love this new improved Black Tusk considering their former bassist/vocalist died in a horrible motorcycle accident back in 2014. Why do I like it? Production is huge, songs are varied, tons of street punk/hardcore punk influence, and it gives me everything I was missing from that last Kvelertak release. Doubt it will even make it onto my top 50 this year but wanted to mention it somewhere because ‘T.C.B.T.’ is a damn good time and throws in a few sweet curve balls as it spins.


a4183248235_10

Artist Craft
Title [Type/Year] White Noise and Black Metal [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

You’ll notice a couple of things so far: 1- I follow Seasons of Mist releases for the most part. 2- They don’t know or care that I exist. No worries, they’re still a million tons cooler than Candlelight USA who never sent me my Absu ‘Abzu’ t-shirt back in 2011, it came with the damn pre-order! I have no special love for Craft and their music isn’t precious to me at all, but I generally liked their first three albums and hated ‘Void’ for whatever reason. The only thing really remarkable about ‘White Noise and Black Metal’ is that it does some good work in slowing down the negative momentum of their releases so far and breathes some much needed interest into their style. At times this sounds so much like a Vreid album that I ended up enjoying the sort of Darkthrone-esque norsecore vibe it gives for whatever reason. The production is uh, so polished it sounds like it was meant for Glorior Belli instead. Sure, I don’t think I needed to buy this but it might grow on me when I pick it up again while scouring through end of the year list ideas.


COVER

Artist Dark Millennium
Title [Type/Year] Where Oceans Collide [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] LISTEN on Spotify!

German avant-garde progressive death metal band Dark Millennium have been around since 1989 but their original four release run ended in 1993. Reformed in 2016 after their compilation releases had shown great interest, they’ve released two full-lengths since. Consider Dark Millennium‘s old reputation as a sort of ‘Voivod of progressive death/doom’ and today they bring a sort of psychedelic progressive groove metal closer to Gojira. I personally hated, hated, hated ‘Midnight in the Void’ (2016) but this record is far more palatable and while it does sound like pop-aggro metal on the surface there is some impressive structure beneath its catchy mediocrity. So, if you’ve liked the band since ‘Diana Read Peace’ (1993) this shouldn’t be a huge shock.


a4103263737_10

Artist Deszcz
Title [Type/Year] III [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [2.75/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

This Polish neocrust band came highly recommended after I’d reviewed Parasight earlier this year. Unfortunately I couldn’t really get into it as much as many other folks have. It essentially plays like a melodic hardcore record if made by a neocrust band and the lack of finesse in the vocals becomes pretty irritating. I found myself lowering the volume by the second song and shutting it off after the third. As abrasive as it is, I have no doubt fans of this style will be totally into it, and I am glad the money spent will go to an animal rights group who probably molotov and gut poachers. Still, I wouldn’t recommend a full listen.


a0190725224_10

Artist Ectoplasma
Title [Type/Year] Cavern of Foul Unbeings [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

This Greek old school death metal project featuring current Embrace of Thorns and Dephosphorous  drummer deliver some of the filthiest, bludgeon-heavy death metal of the year with their second full-length. The style is clearly influenced by stuff like Morta Skuld, GorefestAsphyx, and ends up in league with bands like Skeletal Remains in terms of really nailing that old school sound. Wailing whammy bursts, shuddering atmospheric Finndeath runs, and a rabid meat helicopter on the drums make this one something special. The best kind of death metal has a handle on the thrash influence that gave early death metal so much power and Ectoplasma nail it, along with a brutal  and luminant Unleashed cover at the end. I’d have rated this higher if I’d gotten it closer to release, but as a later purchase it doesn’t stack up to the rest of 2018 in full and I found myself less thrilled by it that I might have been any other year.


a0043357053_10

Artist Judas Iscariot
Title [Type/Year] An Ancient Starry Sky [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Not wanting to over-saturate the market with a sixth album in a three year period Judas Iscariot decided to shelve this record back in 1998. This would make way for what many consider the band’s true opus ‘Heaven in Flames’ so, was it a worthwhile trade-off? Honestly it is hard to even compare the two albums as this one is fresh, new, and brings us back to the most inspired era of Akhenaten‘s output. In terms of taking raw black metal to a new level it’d be revisionist to look down upon his output in hindsight and ‘An Ancient Starry Sky’ is a great induction into Akhenaten‘s genius as a guitarist, as any other skills are muddied by the wild slop that guided his hand. At the very least you need to hear “The Cold Earth”.


a4028523148_10

Artist King Goat
Title [Type/Year] Debt of Aeons [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

King Goat are essentially an epic doom metal project that masquerades as progressive metal any chance they get and for their second full-length it rarely sticks in any meaningful way. Yes, the album is beautifully produced and performed no doubt. ‘Debt of Aeons’ has many powerful moments that add up to a melodramatic but distant record that is difficult to warm up to. As much as I like their sound and that Candlemass style vocalist who is just a hair short of weirdos like Wheel or Reverend Bizarre in terms of personality. The harsher vocal moments don’t land well and we’re left with an operatic style that doesn’t really nail any particular emotion, despite being backed by desolate progressive doom metal. I was definitely surprised that I couldn’t get into this band, but in a year with incredible albums from bands like Khemmis it couldn’t matter less.


a2808876969_10

Artist Shylmagoghnar
Title [Type/Year] Transience [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

If you are a fan of the neoclassical sort of melodic black metal that began to really gain in popularity following the explosive popularity of Windir and you’re not that keen on Cor Scorpii then this Dutch duo are about to load almost an hour and a half of melodic black/death metal in your ears. Well, it is 73 minutes across eight songs but honestly with the right mood you will melt like butter down a winter butt crack as these silky lead guitar runs and keyboard fiddling stroke you to death. Shylmagoghnar do everything they can to convey how much value they want to bring to the genre and I couldn’t necessarily get into it too heavily. The trouble with all of the floundering about is that it maintains an ethereal vibe that totally relies on the kind of stuff Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum have been doing for a while now but tosses in some epic black metal inspired runs throughout. I don’t regret buying it but any full review I wrote came across as more negative than I felt necessary.  Highly recommended if you’re really into Bel’akor and Cor Scorpii.


a0978867710_10

Artist

Sphæra

Title [Type/Year] Teratology [EP/2018]
 Rating [2.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

This technical/progressive death metal band from Metz, France are kind of terrible but I bought this because it’s sound reminded me of old Obliveon and Supuration albums. They incorporate deathcore and djent elements into their music much to my dismay and I ended up chucking this folder out within 2-3 full listens. Heads up to folks who don’t know, I can’t stand djent and deathcore most of the time. There are exceptions but little kisses of crap chugs easily ruin EPs like this one. The use of operatic clean vocals is brilliant, however and these guys are no doubt very talented.


a0326340188_10

Artist Vilkacis
Title [Type/Year] Beyond the Mortal Gate [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

I’d initially picked this up because of all of the hyperbolic babbling the internet was doing surrounding its early April release and to some degree ‘Beyond the Mortal Gate’ lives up to some hype with a strong first impression. At this point I am not particularly a fan of most any of Mike Rekevics‘ projects (Yellow Eyes, Fell Voices, Vorde) but I was able to warm up to Vilkacis for its punkish roll and generally pleasant rhythms. The longer the album plays the more waning my interest, especially in the two longest tracks that end up totaling a very repetitive and subtle eighteen minutes that felt fruitless. “Defiance” and “Sixty Three” are both pretty magical for different reasons, though and I’d at least recommend listening to those two tracks.


Did I miss your favorite 2018 album? I’d like to know if there are any 2018 releases you loved but thought didn’t get enough recognition. Drop me a line to tell me! It is always worthwhile to speak up for the lesser known stuff. Please remember you can contribute to my Patreon @ only $1 USD per month ($12 a year) to help keep me in front of the computer writing about metal. Thanks.

Support Grizzly Butts!

If you like what you read, please consider donating directly to PayPal or to my Patreon: patreon.com/GrizzlyButts

$1.00